• Katy Gardener

Your seven step guide for growing wisteria at home

Updated: May 8

This post is all about growing wisteria at home. Read on for seven wisteria headlines and comprehensive answers to seven FAQs.

Winchester wisteria!

INTRO

One of social media’s most popular hashtags right now is #wisteriahysteria, and I think we can all see why. With its abundance of hanging flowers and distinctive fragrance, it is hard not to get hysterical about this Spring jewel.

With Wisteria season in full swing, I find myself making lengthy detours on my daily walk so I can gawp at a particularly glorious specimen. It is such a joyful sight!

Wisteria looks like an intimidating prospect to grow yourself but given the right growing conditions this vigorous plant will take off in no time in your garden.


WISTERIA HEADLINES FOR GROWING AT HOME

  1. Save time and buy an established, grafted tree

  2. Plant in Spring in a sunny position in fertile, well-drained soil

  3. Ensure there is a STURDY structure for the wisteria to climb such as a trellis, arbor or pergola

  4. Plant away from precious plants in your garden as wisteria can quickly take over and squeeze the life out of something you might treasure

  5. Prune twice a year for guaranteed flowering

  6. Avoid growing wisteria in containers (too much effort and not enough reward)

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS

1. Where should you plant a wisteria?

Always plant wisteria in full sunlight, (south or west facing). Whilst wisteria can survive in the shade it will not flower well, which defeats the object!

2. How long will it take to flower?

If you buy from seed, it could take up to 10 years for your wisteria to flower. It’s recommended therefore to buy a grafted tree in the Spring which is already in flower, that way you know it can flower again in the future. To check the plant is grafted look out for a bump at the bottom of the stem.


3. How big will my wisteria grow?

Wisteria are vigorous plants and can live for over 100 years. If left to their own devices’ wisteria pants have the potential to grow to epic proportions of up to 20m. If you plant and care for your wisteria in the right way, expect it to fully cover whatever structure you have provided, and be prepared for it to spread further if left untamed.

4. Which wisteria should I go for?

If you want to create a hanging canopy of wisteria using an arched structure, then opt for Japanese wisteria which has the longest flowers. It will create a breath-taking shade cover that will smell divine.

If you want your wisteria to grow up a sunny wall, opt for Chinese wisteria which has shorter flowers that bloom before the leaves appear making for a stunning display in Spring. It is also the more vigorous of the two.

5. How do I prune my wisteria?

For guaranteed flowers it is essential to prune your wisteria twice a year: once in Summer (August) and again in the Winter (February). In the summer cut off new growth (avoid pruning woody established areas), and in winter prune back to ensure the plant is staying within its growing space. You want to stop the plant putting all its energy into growing new shoots instead of focusing on producing beautiful flowers. Watch this helpful video for inspiration.



6. How much care does Wisteria need?

Young plants need to be watered regularly, but once matured be careful not to over water or apply too much fertilizer. Ironically this delicate flower needs a bit of stress to put its energy into flowering rather than growing new shoots.

7. What is that popping noise?

Like sweet peas, wisteria plants are part of the pea family and after flowering the vines produce seedpods. The popping noise is when the ripened pods explode to germinate their seeds.

GOOD LUCK!

Let me know if you have any questions and let me know how you get on.

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